Home | News    Saturday 30 January 2021

Ethiopia masses troops on borders, urging withdrawal of Sudanese army

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Sudanese army chief of staff discuss with some engineers in the eastern Sudan border areas on 27 January 2021 (SUNA photo)

January 29, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Ethiopia has massed troops on the border with Sudan as its deputy prime minister reiterated on Friday calls to withdraw the Sudanese army from "the Ethiopian territories".

"The Ethiopian army deployed armaments including tanks and anti-aircraft batteries to the border region in the past two weeks, said two foreign diplomats who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public," reported the New York-based Bloomberg news agency, on Thursday

Similar reports have been circulating in the Sudanese capital since several days, as the Sudanese army chief of staff, Mohamed Osman al-Hussein was in a discrete visit to the border areas to inspect the ongoing construction of military infrastructures facilities.

Together with military preparation to any possible Ethiopian attack, Sudan launched a regional diplomatic campaign to explain its position on the growing tensions as delegations travelled to neighbouring countries and the countries member of the African Union Bureau of Heads of State and Government.

For his part, Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia spoke about the border dispute with Sudan in an online event organized by the Atlantic Council on Friday.

"Ethiopia is committed to resolving the problem through negotiation, but requires the Sudanese side to evacuate their army that has encroached deep into the Ethiopian territories (...), said Mekonnen.

Sudanese government say the army was deployed along the Sudanese side of the border and refuse the Ethiopian claims.

Muaz Tango, the head of Sudan border commission said he had advised to not accept the Ethiopian mediation for the formation of the transitional government.

Tango said that the Ethiopian government had a very strong relationship with the former regime, to the extent that al-Bashir turned a blind eye to many things that had harmed the interests of Sudanese citizens.

"Therefore when they offered their mediation, they certainly sought to preserve or increase the same interests".

He added that the Ethiopian governments in the past denied the existence of a border dispute saying that border violations are carried out by the Amhara militiamen, not the Ethiopian government.

"But since this region is now in control of the country, the Ethiopian government expresses the interests of the Amhara region," he stressed.

He went further to repeat statements made by other Sudanese officials that the 1902 and 1972 agreement have settled the border dispute and now the parties should form a joint team to place the border markers.

Ethiopian workshop

The Ethiopian foreign ministry, on Friday, concluded a three-day workshop on the Ethiopia-Sudan border issue with the participation of the International law experts

The workshop discussed "ways to give a long-lasting and amicable solution to the issue through reactivating existing mechanisms for the re-demarcation process," according to a statement released by the ministry.

Further, the participants discussed ways to enhance " people-to-people ties, historical, cultural, and other multifaceted relations" between the two people.

The workshop also discussed ways to strengthen people-to-people ties, historical, cultural, and other multifaceted relations between the two countries.

(ST)

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